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Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Happy New Year!

The New Year lies before you
Like a spotless tract of snow
Be careful how you tread on it
For every mark will show.
~Author unknown~

Happy New Year!!!

Hi everyone:) I just got back from Pennsylvania and the move is going just fine. I was only stuck on the George Washington Bridge for 1-1/2 hrs. That's actually good this time of year:) As of tomorrow, (30th) I will no longer have an internet connection in New York. I will either be driving "home" to PA on New Year's Eve or New Year's Day depending on mostly the weather and if all the furniture fits in the truck. (I may have rented one that is too small, dang!:) Anyway, I was going to try and visit each and every one of my cherished visitors to wish you all a Happy New Year but, I didn't want to leave you high and dry without giving you at least a peek into what food days we have in store for the New Year. So here's just a few days to nibble on and I'll "see" you all the beginning of next week. (all links are to other sites unless otherwise noted:)

Monthly Food Celebrations

January is...
National Soup Month-I did a post for National Soup Month last year but quite frankly, I'm not happy with it. Until I get to re-seasoning it, here's a little something to keep you "warm."

"One morning in the garden bed,
The onions and the carrots said
Unto the parsley group
"Oh when shall we three meat again
In thunder, lightning, hail or rain?"
Alas, replied in tones of pain
The parsley, In the Soup!"


National Oatmeal Month
National Wheat Bread Month
National Slow Cooking Month 
National Hot Tea Month 
National Bread Machine Baking Month
Prune Breakfast Month (Via: David Lebovitz)

Daily Food Celebrations

2nd-National Cream Puff Day
2nd-National Oatmeal Day (previous post: Travels of a Rolled Oat

3rd-Drinking Straw Day-On January 3, 1888 Marvin C. Stone received his patent for the first wax drinking straw. (previous post)

4th-Trivia Day-A day for "grains of salt" (previous post)
4th-National Spaghetti Day (I hope to be posting for this one!!!)

5th-National Whipped Cream Day
5th-"America's Innkeeper" Charles Kemmons Wilson; founder of the Holiday Inn chain of hotels was born on January 5th, 1913. (I posted from The Holiday Inn Cookbook last year.)

Well, it's time for me to get some shut eye. I still have lots to do. My thoughts are with  all of you; wishing you a very Happy, Healthy and Safe New Year. And, the brightest biggest Blue Moon EVER!!! 2010 is going to be simply Awesome! Stay safe and watch out for the other "guy." Louise:)

Saturday, December 26, 2009

It's Candy Cane Day!!!

Hi Everyone! I hope you all had a Glorious Christmas!!! I know I did and thanks to Skype, I even got to see Tabi and Noah open some of their Christmas presents. How cool is  technology???

I'm still packing and loading and it looks like I only have two more trips to PA before, I'll be all moved in. Whew! In the mean time, I wanted to remind you that today is National Candy Cane Day!

Since I posted a few links guiding you to the history of Candy Canes last year for National Candy Cane Day, I thought today I would simply leave you with a recipe I found in the cookbook The Frugal Gourmet Celebrates Christmas by Jeff Smith. Don't these Peppermint Candy Cookies look absolutely delightful??? 

Peppermint Candy Cane Cookies
The Dough:
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened (do not substitute margarine of shortening)
1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2-1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup walnuts, chopped

Cream butter, sugar, and vanilla together until fluffy. Add the flour and walnuts and blend to form a dough. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill 1 hour.

Candy Mixture for Garnish:
1/4 pound peppermint candy, crushed fine
1/2 cup confectioners' sugar

In a small bowl, combine both ingredients. Set aside. Three tablespoons of this mixture is used in the filling below and the remainder is used to garnish the cookies.

The Filling:
2 tablespoons cream cheese, softened
1 teaspoon milk
1 drop red food coloring
1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
3 tablespoons candy mixture (see above)

In a bowl, blend together the cream cheese, milk, food coloring, and the confectioners' sugar until smooth. Blend in the 3 tablespoons candy mixture.

Remove the dough from the refrigerator and for each cookie pinch off a rounded teaspoon of dough. form into a ball and shape the dough around your thumb to make a little compartment in the middle. Place about 1/4 teaspoon of the cream cheese filling in the depression. Pinch the dough back together and roll it back into a ball. Repeat the process with the remaining dough and filling. Place the balls on a nonstick cookie sheet. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 10-12 minutes. Do not brown.

Remove the cookies to a cooling rack. To garnish, roll the cooled cookies in the remaining candy mixture. Makes 3 dozen 

If you're looking for all kinds of candy cane recipes, including candy candy drinks, you really should check out last year's post. There's recipes from some of your favorite bloggers including, Candy Cane Coffee Cake, Leftover Candy Cane Cake, Peppermint Bark, Chocolate Candy Cane Stirrers and oh so many more... Have FUN!!!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Silver & Gold: Gold

Happy First Day of Winter! I know I'm not such a great photographer but, this picture is bad in more ways than one.

It's what I saw when I looked out my window yesterday morning.

So yesterday I told you about that chant that's been streaming through my head. Maybe you've heard it too. It goes something like this "Make new friends...keep the old...One is silver...the other gold." I think we learned it in Girl Scouts. Well, thanks to Cynthia and Mae, I decided to make up a list of my own this holiday season. To sum it up, I've taken the last two days to highlight some of the recent blogs I have discovered (the silver) and share some of the blogs and bloggers who have been faithful visitors since the beginning. If you would like to take a gander at those blogs of silver, here is the link. Today, I offer you the Gold.

Gold

To this day, I recall how delighted I was the first time someone "accepted" my blog as a place to visit in this sometimes chaotic blog hopping world engulfed in the internet. Most likely, she isn't even aware of her encouraging first "words." Sheer glee! I had been blogging for about a month, with 18 posts under my belt, when I received my first un-anonymous comment on that momentous day; October 31, 2007. I must admit, I was getting a wee bit discouraged before Jane came to my rescue that day. Here it is more than two years later and Jane still visits my blog and I hers. We lost contact for a little while but much like in daily life, we didn't miss a step when we were reunited. Thank you dear Jane for sharing your Sweets & Baking Journal with me. Your culinary delights warm my heart and soothe my soul with a sprinkling delight. The brownie lover in me just can't help dreaming about Jane's Peanut Butter & Chocolate Cheesecake Swirl Brownies. I'm encouraged to believe I will one day bake them up myself. Jane's detailed instructions and mouth watering pictures (even the batter looks scrumptious:) will guide me, I'm sure.


It was more than a month before I received my second comment. I was Celebrating December's Saints when Karen arrived unexpectedly on December 4, 2007. Karen still flurries in and out like a luminous gift from heaven and for that I am truly grateful. Have you "met" Karen? Perhaps. She brought Jell-O a la Haute to the picnic back in June. These days, she's having quite a time on Facebook and authors two blogs that I try to visit as much as I can. Recently, Karen shared a A Cake of Letters for the Season in her usual entertaining way. Don't be fooled by her light hearted approach though, this lady knows her culinary limits and they go way beyond one's imagination. I met one of my new Silver buddies over @ Karen's newest blog, Postcards From the Dinner Table. Truly a treasure:)


Stephanie, from Fun Foods on a Budget, popped in for Peanut Brittle about two weeks later. Once again, acceptance was restored. I believe she enjoyed the playfulness of the post since she had never heard of recipe rhymes before. I don't "see" much of Stephanie anymore. However, the memory of this creative stay at home mom's first visit, is a welcome button on my side-bar.


Often spotted as the Yankee Soaper, Jady from Cucina Panzano arrived a few days after Stephanie. Two new comments on the same post! Another first. It gets better. I never found out whether Jady stirred up that Peanut Brittle. But, just the other day, she whipped up a vintage recipe I sent her for Lemon Cake Pudding. My lips seemed to pucker as soon as I laid my tearful eyes on the title; Louisa's Lemon Cake Pudding. What Jady doesn't know is, she posted the recipe on my late mother's birthday. Cucina Panzano consistently reflects on family recipes in a way that only Jady can chaperone us through. Just take a look at this Fig Jam post and you too will be a believer.


The very next day, I "met" Manuela from Baking History. She left a comment on a post I did for Jane Croly Cunningham's birthday. When she wrote that she enjoyed her visit, I think my high pitched voice could be heard throughout the Hamptons! Not really, I'm sure but it sure did feel like it. Manuela takes Baking History to a reachable level. The historic recipes are clear, concise and easy to follow. I always felt like I too could bake up her creations; still do. I don't "see" Manuela as often as I would like. Up until yesterday, I didn't even know she had celebrated World Bread Day in 2009. Her last post hadn't been since December 2008! She's often on my mind and I hold a place for her on my blog under the title of from eggs to apples. I still would like to try my hand at those Gingerbread Cookie of hers.


Ah, Culinary Types. T. W. first visited my blog on December 31, 2007, a glorious day for The Wonderful World of Welch's and me. It's a funny thing, this world of blogging. Sometimes you feel an immediate kinship to someone for no apparent reason and then one day, it hits you. It all clicked the day T.W. introduced me and faithful readers to Bonnie Slotnick Cookbook store in Manhattan. At first, I was intrigued by the title For Sale: Vintage Cookbooks, Cookbooklets and Grandma's Kitchen Comfort. Honestly, what cookbook collector wouldn't be? And then, I became entranced. T.W. has that sort of affect on visitors to his blog. His piquant wit and captivating journeys immediately lift your spirits. You inner child wants to "feast on a banquet of food history" while enjoying every bite. A fellow, New Yorker, T.W. captures the city in ways that can only be described by this gal as pure enchantment. His most recent post, Christmas Time in the City will give you a mere glimmer.


In September of 2008, I received my very first Blog Award. I said it then and I'll say it again, the “I Love Your Blog” award from Lidian @ Kitchen Retro, could not have arrived at a better time. Almost a year later, I was doubting my blogging purpose and the length of my blog posts. It truly was a most welcome award. I still fret about these things every now and again, despite my futile attempts. However, whenever I'm in need of a good hearty laugh or mad-cap behavior, I know I can depend on Lidian to take The Mystery of the Magic Fire Crayon to new heights.


By no means are these lists complete. I visit many, many blogs while compiling posts for Months of Edible Celebrations. Many websites too. Please don't be offended if you are not part of the silver and gold. I have 479 blogs listed in my Hospitality Search Engine and chances are, yours is one of them. Whenever I get the opportunity to link to one of your fabulous posts or recipes, I do. For that honor, I thank you. I wish all of you a very merry holiday season and a Happy, Healthy New Year. I may not be able to drop by as often as I would like to before the new year as I am still in the process of moving to PA. (this snow hasn't helped much) Like many of you, I have blogging plans for next year. One thing for sure is, I will be cooking for you! Yes, yes, I will. Not often mind you; let's not get crazy. My inspiration for diving into the cook, pic, blog world comes from all of you delectable bloggers out there. Thank you:) Louise

Regifted Posts those mentioned today
1. Online Cookbooks
2. Celebrating December's Saints
3. Peanut Brittle Recipe Poem
4. Getting to Know Jennie June Croly
5. Friendship Day (if you scroll down a bit, you will find last minute gift ideas nestled in jars)

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Silver & Gold: Silver

"Make new friends...keep the old...One is silver...the other gold."

Yes, I was a Girl Scout. And as a Girl Scout, I earned many badges. However, you may be surprised to learn, I never received a Friendship Badge. (I was very quiet and shy in those days and a wee bit awkward to boot, but that, gentle readers, is a story for another day:) For the past few days, I have not been able to get the above tune out of my head. I go around the house humming, "Make new friends...keep the old...One is silver...the other gold," over and over again. Tis' the season I suppose.

I'm pretty sure the melody settled in my brain the day I received a lovely comment from Cynthia @ Gherkins & Tomatoes. She mentioned me as one of her favorite blogs in a post titled The Gifts of Food Bloggers. You can just imagine my excitement! Thank you again, Cynthia:)

A self-proclaimed “Bibliochef,” Cindy is a well seasoned writer who loves to cook. Her deep understanding of culinary history beckons to be read in each and every one of her posts. One of my favorite recent posts of hers is titled, Fruitcake, Fermentation by Another Name. Cynthia is currently researching early Virginian culinary history. I look forward to her revelations. In the mean time, Enjoy:)

Not one to often imitate, Mae, from Mae's Food Blog, initiated a list of favorites of her own. Wonders of wonders, Months of Edible Celebrations was honored to be included on that list also. The chant grew louder in my head. "Make new friends...keep the old...One is silver...the other gold..."

Have you "met" Mae? I haven't outside of the blogosphere but I sure would like to. I get the impression, Mae doesn't mince words. Her thoughts on all things food related are usually garnished with a dash of wit and an abundance of knowledge. A favorite post of yours truly is titled; Stand Facing the Stove. While discussing Anne Mendelson's Stand Facing the Stove: The Story of the Women Who Gave America The Joy of Cooking, Mae approaches the pros and cons of the book in a most discerning way. As a cookbook collector, dependable blog cookbook reviews are greatly appreciated. Thanks again, Mae:)

"The discovery of a new dish does more for human happiness than the discovery of a new star."
Brillat-Savarin

When it comes to friends as well as recipes, there are more similarities than you might think. Much like a trusted friend, a reliable recipe is worth its weight in gold. Tried and true, one is comforted by the harmonious mixture of ingredients and the unconditional results. That same recipe shines in agreement when introduced to a new "wassailer."

Today, in the spirit of the season of silver and gold, I would like to share with you a few of the new bloggers I would like to call my new blog friends. Tomorrow I will revisit some of my golden "oldies." I'm confident those blogging friends not mentioned will understand:)

Silver

One way to precipitate an introduction is to dive right in. Believe me, that's what I wanted to do the first time I "met" Kate from Serendipity. Not only did she conger up Fancy Pants Potatoes, she encouraged playing with your food. I mean really, with a name like Serendipity you know throwing caution to the wind is more than acceptable. Indeed it was and I haven't looked back. (except for today to make sure I had the right link:) Today just happens to be the last day of Kate's Double Truffle Give-away which she kicked off for Chocolate Week. It will only take you a minute to enter and while you're there, be sure and visit her guided tour of a Belgium Chocolate Shop. Heavenly!


Another great way to "meet" a new blogger is by "formal" introduction. That's how I "met" Marjie. I was craving a bit of whimsy one day so I paid a visit to Miranda from A Duck in her Pond. She happened to have a guest that day. It was Marjie from a Modern Day Ozzie and Harriet. After they chatted for a while I knew I had to hop on over to introduce myself. As luck would have it, Marjie was instrumental in my meeting Channon my Pampered Chef contact for the Pizza Party. Right off the bat I knew I was going to have to get to know Chan. After all, Chan knits. To me, that's quite impressive. I can't even sew no less knit. And, she knits beautifully. Chan also has two of the most adorable puppies. She actually has me thinking, I'm ready to adopt! On my last visit, although I didn't drop her a note, yet, the girls were outside investigating the Irony of the "white stuff" outside. It looks like Chan is snowed in just like me! All are welcomed visitors to Months of Edible Celebrations.


I think the most refreshing way to meet a new blogger is through email. I love reading the comments others leave on blogs they visit, so subscribing to their comments is often entertaining. Often, a new comment catches my eye and I feel compelled to "meet" that person. That's what happened when I read a comment Ken left @ Karen's blog. You'll meet Karen tomorrow. She's an "old" friend of golden status:) Intrigued, I hopped on over to Ken Albala's Food Rant just in time for Duck Season. I LOVE duck! I've been awfully busy this past week but I will definitely be going back to Ken's. Not only is he a Food Historian at the University of the Pacific in Stockton, California, he is also the author of quite a few books on culinary history. His blog is unpretentious and downright fun!


I'm always looking for new ways to dress up my blog. Sure, I get stimulating fashion lessons from my own personal fashionista; Sher. (As you know, I'm pretty much a jeans and tee shirt kinda gal) Sher, who hosts the blog Fashion After Forty has drawn me into the 21st century little by little with her own personal style and humorous prose. Thanks Sher! I'm also on a mission to improve my food styling. I plan on cooking next year. Yes, that will include me taking pictures of what I actually cook. For that reason and for the simple love of seeing what others create, I've recently started following Food with Style. You "pros" out there really need to check it out too. I haven't been there much this week so I'm only surmising here but it appears Food with Style is a place to upload your works of art for the world to drool over. The interesting thing is, they link your "tablescape" back to your post. How cool is that!


Every now and again, a girl needs a bit of technical help. Like knights from the blogosphere, I happened upon Jim and Sire. I officially "met" Jim on twitter. I say officially because little did I know at the time that Jim was my lost bookmark. I had been going to his Blogging Tips and Tricks website pretty much since I started blogging. I think I may have even had his link in my sidebar at one time. Anyway, I was sure I had his website in my bookmarks but I'm thinking one day when I went on a decluttering bookmark rampage, I deleted him. I assure you, that will never happen again. Jim, speaks my language. His posts are not intimidating. I actually understand what he is trying to convey and I never feel like he thinks I'm a "dummie" blogger. His latest post, on installing Wordpress themes is one I may be soon referring to. I must make one more comment here. I don't know about you but I have the terrible habit of not commenting as much as I probably should on other blogs not talking food. I'm sure, a simple thank you couldn't hurt. Actually, that's how I "met" Sire. Sire claims to be blogging for "fame and glory." Perhaps, but, Sire has much to offer when it comes to promoting your blog. He offers a wealth of information and I can tell you from personal experience, he has mucho patience. Oh, you may not think that when you first "meet" the man from Australia. I suppose the title of his blog gives just a little bitty hint. It called WassupBlog. His latest post is titled Global Helping Hands for Bloggers Day. An event this girl missed. Sire is also a talented poet. I've been trying to get over to his blog to catch up on his poems. Maybe tomorrow:) Speaking of tomorrow, it was Sire who suggested that I sometimes "break" my posts up into two days. Honesty and constructive criticism are always welcomed:) I just may do that today! Sire also highly recommends the FlexSqueeze theme for Wordpress. His blog is a living example of its virtues.

It Snowed!

Heeding Sire's advice, I will be posting the "Golden Oldies" early tomorrow morning. As of this moment, my humble abode is blanketed in snow. I can't get out either of my doors and I have to step on my tippy toes to see out my window. Granted, I'm "petite" but I'm telling you, it's hard to decipher where the snow ends and the sky begins. And, wouldn't you know it, the shovel is in the garage! I may just have to begin with a big ol' soup spoon!

This is a picture looking out my front door. If you look real close, (click to enlarge) you can see the tennis courts in the background. The net poles are nearly buried. It was so windy last night the trees are barely covered. I suppose I should be thankful they're still standing and after all today is Sunday. This snow on a Monday morning would have been a nightmare!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

A Suitable Gift for Everyone?

Westinghouse Electrical Gifts:

Turnover Toaster

Just open the rack to turn the toast! (click any image to enlarge)

Patented around 1914, the Westinghouse Turnover Toaster was said to have "a very attractive appearance." It was made out of pressed sheet steel and finished in highly polished nickel. The toast could be turned without danger of burning the fingers, by means of an insulated knob. The flat surface on top of the toaster was often used for heating food or plates. Priced @ $6.00 in 1927.

Panel Percolator & "A Welcome Package of Comfort"

"Guaranteed" to provide you with a delicious cup of coffee, the Panel Percolator was one of the many designs offered by Westinghouse in the early 1900s. Advertising the "paramount delights of summer cooking," one advertisement proclaimed the convenience of never having to leave the table and reminded the consumer about the low cost of electricity rates. A discount was offered for buying both! $8.75 6 cup Percolator & Toaster Stove.

Worried about your radio reception? If so, your worries are over. The Westinghouse electric warming pads "will not interfere with your radio reception." The equivalent of a "hot water bottle," they were made in two sizes and incased in fawn-colored felt cases. The larger pad was equipped with a three-way-heating switch which could be turned on or off at the socket. To prevent overheating, an automatic "million dollar" Spencer thermostat was mounted inside the pads. The thermostat was designed to cut off the temperature before it became too hot. Two cutoffs were located in different parts of the pad; in case one failed. $8.50 in 1927.

Tumbler Heater & Table Stove

There you are lying in bed soothing your aches and pains dreaming about warm milk before settling in for a long winter's nap. Have no fear, the Tumbler Heater is here! In just 3 or 4 minutes, a glassful of liquid will be brought to its boiling point. Then, all you have to do is reach for the switch and turn the "the current" off. Not convenient, the sleek design will not cause the glass to "tumble."

Ad from the St. Petersburg Times; 1923

In every part of the modern home and in dentist's and doctor's offices, the Tumbler Heater is a modern convenience.

An new innovation first advertised in the late 1920s, the Westinghouse Electric Table Stove threatened the core of the highly esteemed chafing dish.

chafing dish
The origin of the chafing-dish dates back to the period of unwritten history. Its use was common at least two thousand years ago. Like the brazier, chafing-dishes were once made of bronze and rested on the floor. As occasion demanded they were carried from room to room by means of handles on the sides...the Greeks and Romans—a saucepan of Corinthian brass—was also a species of chafing-dish, having several features of the modern chafing-dish...All of these appliances were a combination of sauce-pan and heat generator. Formerly the heat was supplied by live wood coals or the flame of burning oil. The ancient dishes were intended for gentle cooking or simmering, and for keeping hot food that had been cooked by other means. This is the rightful province of the modern chafing-dish and all other cooking, save that of a gentle simmering, should be left for some more appropriate utensil. This degree of heat, that of simmering, is well adapted to the cooking of eggs, oysters, and cheese, and the reheating of cooked materials in a sauce, the sauce having been first made in the blazer of the chafing-dish.

The blazer, a hot-water pan and a lamp are the indispensable parts of the chafing-dish—the hot-water pan is some, times though erroneously, omitted. A tray upon which the dish may rest, while the lamp is lighted, insures the tablecloth against fire from below. Practical Cooking and Serving: A Complete Manual of how to Select, Prepare and Serve Food, by Janet McKenzie Hill

With the safety and convenience of having your meal cooked right before your very eyes, the chafing dish epidemic was on the verge of a complete halt.

Loving Cup Urn & Cozy Glow

A "fancy" percolator, the hostess, who served her guests coffee from one of the many beautifully designed Loving Cup Urns, was considered among the elite.

The Westinghouse Cozy-Glow "radiator" was light weight, portable and adjustable. Not only did it reflect heat rays in any direction, the Cozy-Glow was also advertised as a way to keep mom and baby warm during the chilly mornings of autumn and during the winter when the temperature hit zero! A Space Heater "perfect" for chilly rooms? A heavy cast iron base insured firmness without excessive weight. The heating unit, easily was wound on a porcelain cylinder and protected by a copper wire guard which was removed for the cleaning reflector. The reflector was built of polished copper.

All Kinds of Irons

An campaign advertised in the February, 1933, edition of the St. Petersburg Times, stated Westinghouse dealers would give the home maker one-dollar for their old iron if they purchased a new Westinghouse Lightweight Iron. I don't know about you, but I still think my iron is too heavy. Imagine how heavy those babies were when they were first advertised in 1924! 4-1/2 pounds cost $5.95 with discount.

The first Westinghouse electric waffle irons were introduced in 1912. By the 1930s Waffle Irons were the choice wedding gifts for new brides.

For the price of $2.50 one ad I came across announced; sisters everywhere would appreciate a Westinghouse Curling Iron as a gift for Christmas. (following image found @ yourememberthat.com)

The Westinghouse electric curling iron was advertised as being simple, reliable and economical. The heating element was a rod inserted directly in the barrel which could be easily removed. The swivel plug was molded of special composition and suppose to be unbreakable. Strong spring contacts in the plug assured a good connection. There were no exposed terminals.

"See" ya in a couple of days. I think it's about time I start buying some "suitable" gifts!!!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

The Lottie Moon Cook Book

Depending on a host of circumstances, a cookbook can be many things. Many were conceived as silhouetted passages recorded in family manuscripts handed down from generation to generation. Sprinkled with social history and darned in intimate family moments, these unpretentious hand crafted compositions cast a shadow on societies ever changing eating habits. I love them for many reasons. While cooking is the art of preparing food for the nourishment of the human body, cookbooks don't always paint a transparent glimpse into the living past but more of an interpretation as conveyed by the "artist." With these snippets of clues, one can imagine the blend of ingredients that shaped our palates. Authors may have had their purposes or expertise, however, as readers, we get to read between the lines. I treasure cookbooks for their functionality. Despite their age, these huddled messengers of the past, portray a distinct snapshot because of their combination of simplicity but also because of that essence they capture.

Along with Bibles, cookbooks were among the earliest of books printed. Many of these gifts from the past were seasoned with generous servings of medical advice, household hints, pictorial representations and stylish recipes. Bound in recognizable vignettes, chapter after chapter the virtues of domesticity were praised and rewarded. Some cookbooks became quite influential despite their narrative style. Today, I would like to share one such cookbook with you; the Lottie Moon Cookbook.

Who was Lottie Moon?

Born in Virginia on December 12, 1840, Lottie (short for Charlotte) Digges Moon was raised in a family "of culture and means" rooted in a deep foundation of Christian Faith and missionary devotion. She would grow to become one of the world’s most well known missionaries, mostly in rural China, and became a tireless advocate for support of foreign missions. Though she stood just 4’3” tall, she laid a foundation for solid support for missions among Southern Baptists.

Lottie Moon was born in 1840, third in a family of five girls and two boys, on the family’s fifteen-hundred-acre tobacco plantation known as Viewmont. Her father, Edward Moon, was the largest slaveholder (fifty-two slaves) in Albemarle County; he was also a merchant and a lay leader in the Baptist church. The Moon family valued education, and at age fourteen Lottie went to school at the Virginia Female Seminary at Botetourt Springs (later known as Hollins) and later at Albemarle Female Institute, Charlottesville where she became one of the first women in the South to receive both a bachelor’s degree and Master of Arts degree in teaching specializing in modern languages. A spirited and outspoken girl, Lottie was indifferent to her Southern Baptist upbringing until her late teens... (source)
The aroma of biscuits, ham, gravy, fired chicken, fresh vegetables, pigeon soup, and apple pie must have often filled Viewmont, a plantation home in Albermarle County Virginia...The kitchen was a separate building from the house and there were slaves to help with the work. Mrs. Moon, however, was the one who looked after the food and clothing for the family, directed their social life, and supervised the children's education and religious training.

Lottie seems to have been a refreshing individual with a happy and somewhat mischievous disposition. She loved the outdoors but nevertheless managed to master the "indoor arts" expected of young ladies then. Her bright mind was a challenge to the governesses and tutors who taught at Viewmont. With a mind of her own, Lottie did not seem religiously inclined and enjoyed the classics more than the Bible.

At the early age of 12, Lottie evidenced a flair for cooking. Sabbath day observance was very strict at Viewmont. All cooking for Sunday was completed on Saturday, and Sunday dinner was always served cold.

Somehow Lottie managed to remain at home one Sunday morning in 1852. While the family was at church service, she prepared a sumptuous meal all by herself. One wonders which Virginia dishes she chose to make that day! Lottie Moon Cook Book pgs.21-22

It is said, Lottie rebelled against Christianity until she was in college.

It was while attending school in Charlottesville that Lottie accepted Christ during an evangelistic meeting held on campus by then pastor John Albert Broadus.  At the age of eighteen years old, Lottie Moon became a Christian on December 21, 1858. (excellent source)

There is a wealth of information available online about the legacy of Lottie Moon. I have left a few resources for you to explore below. After 39 years as a missionary, mostly in China's Shantung province, Lottie Moon died on Christmas Eve in 1912. In 1918, the Woman’s Missionary Union named the annual Christmas offering for international missions in honor of Lottie Moon. Each Christmas season, Southern Baptist churches collect the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering to support the missionaries and their work.

Although it was unusual for women of her time, Lottie had learned many languages, including Latin, Greek, French, Italian, Spanish and Hebrew. In response to an inspiring missionary message she heard in February, 1873, Lottie Moon and her teacher friend, Miss A. C. Stafford, volunteered for missionary service. Single women were not usually sent as missionaries, but Lottie was not a believer in barriers. She found financial support from Baptist women in Virginia and was appointed as a Southern Baptist foreign missionary to China on July 7, 1873. She left port for China on September 1, 1873. 

The Cookie Lady

When Lottie Moon sailed for China in 1873, she brought with her the latest edition of Mrs. Hill's New Cook Book. Originally published as Mrs. Hill's New Cook Book, a Practical System for Private Families, in Town and Country with Directions for Carving and Arranging the Tables for Dinners, and Parties in 1872, it is believed, Lottie's "go to" cookbook was the 1875 revised edition authored by socially prominent Georgia native Annabella P. Hill. (Annabella Hill raised six children and managed a household that included as many as ten boarders in LaGrange, Georgia. She also served as the principal of the local Orphan's School.) Although this website seems to have misspelled her name, there's a short article about Mrs. Hill's book here.

Though the actual copyright date of Mrs. Hill's New Cook Book was 1872, the flyleaf of Miss Moon's copy was inscribed "L. Moon Jan. 7th 1875." which indicates that Lottie Moon used these recipes for some thirty-eight years during her forty-year tenure as a missionary in china.(pg.7)
Lottie Moon

The Lottie Moon Cook Book is a compilation of recipes gleaned from Lottie's personal copy of Mrs. Hill's recipes. The selected recipes are those which Lottie Moon marked with an X. Some recipes were also annotated by Lottie Moon with comments and dates used. The last recorded date in her cookbook, May 18, 1912, was inscribed besides a recipe for Chambliss Pudding. 

From the book:

Those first few years spent in Tengchow were busy but rather discouraging ones. There was distrust toward foreigners and she was often called the "Devil Old Woman." [she was 33 years old when she went to China] One day she tried a new method to reach people; cookies!... Chinese boys and girls couldn't resist the smell of those delicious cookies and as they munched happily, Lottie Moon had an opportunity to tell them the good news of Christ.

She served cookies many, many times through the years and used them as a point of contact with the Chinese people. Her cookie jar was also famous with children of missionary families who stopped over in her home from time to time.

Miss Moon, according to a China missionary, was lovingly nicknamed "The Cookie Lady." Her other more familar nickname came to be "The Heavenly Book Visitor" which replaced the "Devil Old Woman."

The Cookie Lady distributing tea cakes. Scene from film of the Foreign Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention, The Lottie Moon Story

Lottie named her 300 year old home in China "The Little Cross Roads." Like a true home maker she transformed it into a little bit of old Virginia and greeted all who visited with Southern hospitality.

...Connected by an outer wall, three separate building or apartments surrounded a courtyard. One served as her own quarters, another as a guest house for foreigners, and the third as quarters for her Chinese servants and guests...When a newly appointed missionary, Dr. J. McF. Gaston visited her home in 1908 he commented that he had stepped into "Old Virginia" as he sat down to a dinner such as those served in that state. In one of her letters, (thank goodness, she was a prolific writer) Lottie mentioned she served oyster soup to her guests. Her home was a haven where weary missionaries from the interior of China could rest for a while. A crape myrtle brought from Virginia, touch-me-nots, hollyhocks, verbena and many roses scented the air where small crowds of women gathered to learn about Christianity.

For 39 years Lottie Moon labored in Tengchow and in P'ingtu. She fought many battles on behalf of the Chinese she grew to love. She was a leader in the effort to ban the foot-binding of young girls; She broke down barriers against the education of girls and labored under difficult circumstances.

It was in P'ingtu that Lottie first began to dress in Chinese clothing...Soon she was teaching and visiting from sunup to sundown. Often she would be inside a home teaching women, and the men would gather outside the windows to listen to her speak. She wrote, "I am trying honestly to do the work that could fill the hands of three or four women, and in addition must do the work that ought to be done by young men." (source)

After the Chinese Revolution, a famine struck China. Lottie continued to put the needs of others above her own. As she saw people starving, she gave away all she had to save them. She spent the last of her own money buying food for others. As she slowly starved, her Christian friends grew worried about her deteriorating health. On December 20, 1912 a missionary nurse, Miss Cynthia Miller, accompanied her as she set sail back to America. Aboard ship, on Christmas Eve of that year, while anchored at Kobe, Japan she died. It is said she weighed less than 60 pounds. On January 28, 1913, a memorial service for Charlotte Moon was held at the Second Baptist Church of Richmond, Virginia.

The inscription on her tombstone includes her name, the dates 1840-1912, and these words: "Forty years a missionary of Southern Baptist Convention in China. "Faithful unto Death."
Lottie Moon's desk and memorabilia, including Mrs. Hills New Cook Book, in the Lottie Moon Room of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary

The author of the 1969 edition of the Lottie Moon Cook Book, Claude Rhea, did not change any of the wording formatted in the original book. Many of the recipes include measurements for a tumbler full, of milk, or a gill of cream. Thankfully, a table of weights and measurements is included in the book for translation.

Since today is Gingerbread House Day, I thought I would include a recipe for Colquitt Ginger Bread found on page 184 of the book. A quick search leads me to believe the recipe is named after Colquitt, Georgia. However, one never knows for sure:)

Colquitt Ginger Bread
Half pound of butter, one quarter of a pound of brown sugar, one tablespoonful of ginger, one teaspoonful of cinnamon, six eggs, three gills of molasses, half a gill of milk, the grating of one orange, half pound of flour, half pound of corn starch, and a teaspoonful of soda.

Beat the butter, sugar, and spice well together; mix the flour and starch. Beat the eggs, and add them to the starch and flour, half at a time. Stir the milk and molasses in; then the remainder of the flour and starch. After beating, add the soda. Line with paper, and grease the pan. Bake in moderate oven.

Resources
1. Lottie Moon Biography
2. A Snapshot of Lottie Moon's Life
3. Lottie Moon’s Cookie recipe @ Chan Knits
4. Lottie Moon Booklet (PDF)
5. Lottie Moon: Giving Her All for China By Geoff Benge (limited viewing @ google books)
6. Descendants of Edward Harris Moon
7. Gingerbread House Day (previous post)

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Drum Roll please; introducing Timbales!

Wouldn't you know it, I have finally made a conscience decision to limit my blog post embellishments and look what happens. In roll the timbales!  Please bear with me just a bit longer. I will try to orchestrate this as simply as possible. Let's begin by trimming down the Five Ws.

Who invented timbales? What are timbale? Why post about timbale today?

Who invented timbales?

According to this website, timbales are "shallow single-headed drums," invented in Cuba. Yes, dear reader drums.

Timbales are cylindrical, usually metal drums which are played with two sticks, usually along with a bell or two and a wood or plastic sound block or two. They are of Cuban origin, and are actually related to the tympani. The are occasionally referred to as "pailas" or pails...

The timbale was originally a scaled-down timpani, as used by European orchestras, and typically consists of two metal (steel, bronze or brass) single headed drums. The drums are referred to as male and female ('macho' and 'hembra'), with the male having a brighter biting sound, and the female a deeper, more mellow sound. These are accompanied by two cowbells, a mambo and a chacha, all of which are mounted on a single stand. Occasionally a cymbal or kick drum are used too. (source)

What are timbale?

It would seem I have already answered this question. However, here's the dilemma. To my mind's eye, the word timbale is a homonym; (ie) one of two (or more) words that have the same pronunciation or spelling, but are different in meaning.

The origin of the word timbale was molded in the French language. In French, timbale literally translates to Kettledrum or drum, with reference to the shape of a prepared dish.(tympanum  tympani) Now, I'm not quite sure about the relationship between the French kettledrum and my favorite definition of a kettledrum. I'm guessing neither has anything to do with percussion instruments. I also know this post will get way to complicated if I dig to deep. Suffice to say, I didn't name my other blog Come to a Kettledrum for nothing.

The progenitor of the cocktail party, a relatively inexpensive method of paying off a great many social debts all at once, was the afternoon tea party, which was called in the 1870's and for several decades after that a kettledrum. All one needed to provide one's guests was sandwiches as thin as tissue paper and as dainty as lace doilie and tea. The American Heritage Cookbook

The Ladies Lunch and afternoon Kettle-Drum are social and graceful modern improvements. Common Sense In The Household by Marion Harland (1880)

Fancy this, today, we are exploring the nature of timbales (pronounced tim bulls) as pertaining to cooking.

Timbales is a literal translation of the French word as "Kettledrums," the original dishes so named partaking of the shape peculiar to those instruments. Custom has, however, extended the adaptation to a variety of shapes, all partaking more or less of a bell-like conformation, through in some rare cases the sides and top are flat and angular. Timbales may be either sweet or savory, large ones constituting dishes by themselves and small ones being used as garnishes for more important preparations. The Encyclopedia of Practical Cookery (1898)
In cooking, a timbale can refer both to a type of baking dish and to a type of food, usually prepared in and sometimes served from the baking dish of the same name. The baking dish tends to be round and shallow, and is well designed for cooking a variety of foods, including the eggy souffle called a timbale. Timbale can be made with a variety of ingredients, although a classic timbale usually includes spinach, mushrooms, onions, and breadcrumbs. Some countries use the word “timbale” to refer to a layered dish incorporating multiple ingredients, which can lead to confusion when reading a menu. If you are uncertain, consulting wait staff is advised so that you do not experience a surprise...( great source:)

Why Post About Timbales Today?

The answer to the third W lies between the pages of The Frugal Gourmet Celebrates Christmas by Jeff Smith. (short bio:)

Frugal Gourmet Celebrates Christmas

As soon as I picked it off my bookshelf in Pennsylvania, I knew I had to share its contents with you this holiday season. The Frugal Gourmet Celebrates Christmas is brimming with wonderful Christmas recipes and seasonal traditions. Dedicated to Saint Francis and Saint Nicholas "who have given us our Christmas Traditions," Jeff Smith leads us through the history of Christmas while focusing on traditions, lore, theology (he was an ordained priest) and myths beginning with Advent preparations, his suggestion for "The Coming of the Season" is Lentils and Rice with Onions and Sesame Oil, all ingredients which would have been found in the kitchens of Bethlehem, and concludes with Christmas Eve Tree Trimming suggestions. Here's a list of the chapters.

The Advent
The Manger and Birth
Christmas Traditions
Christmas Puddings and Cakes
The Festival of Lights and Chanukah
Our Family Christmas
Favorite Christmas Menus
Christmas in Other Cultures
Christmas Eve Tree Trimming

Each chapter is garnished with recipes suitable to the theme. For instance, in the Manger and Birth chapter there are beautiful ancient pictures darning the chapter introduction to the Blessed Mother. The suggested recipe for the "Flower of Heaven" is a Flower Salad. A mixture of arugula and organic edible flowers such as roses, calendulas, johnny-jump-ups and little pansies; it's quite becoming. Don't you think? There's also a recipe for Unleavened Brown Bread for Joseph, Honey Cake with Rose Water for the Christmas Angels and of course a Milk and Honey recipe for the Baby Jesus.

Many of my regular visitors will know I don't usually reccomend cookbooks on this blog. However, I must make an exception today. Long out of print, I have seen this book selling on ebay for as little as $1.50. If, by chance, you should happen upon it for an affordable price, by all means, buy it! I guarantee you will not be disappointed.

So, why timbales? I found this recipe for Bulgur Pesto Timbales in the Favorite Christmas Menus chapter of the book. After reading through the book, I suppose the sensation of Christmas settled upon me and I immediately began humming Little Drummer Boy. Oh, okay, maybe all that holiday singing I did with the kids while they were here had a tiny bit to do with it but none the less, I began to try to remember the words to the Little Drummer Boy. Timbales are drum shaped I thought. I'll post my own theme. So here I am and without further ado, here is the recipe.

Bulgur Pesto Timbales
1 cup coarse-grain bulgur wheat
2 cups chicken stock
1/2 cup orzo pasta
3 green onions
1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted
1 tbs. chopped fresh parsley
2 eggs, beaten
1/4 cup whipping cream
2 tbs. pesto (home made or store bought)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Combine the bulgur and chicken stock in a small saucepan. Bring to boil and simmer, covered, 15 minutes until the bulgur has absorbed the stock. Set aside.

In another small saucepan, bring 2 cups of water to a boil. Add the orzo and cook until just tender. Drain well and set aside to cool.

Combine the cooked bulgur, drained orzo, and the remaining ingredients in a mixing bowl. Pack the mixture into well greased timbale molds and place in a baking pan. Fill the pan with hot water so that it comes one third of the way up the sides of the molds. Bake, uncovered, in a 375 degree oven for 45 minutes. Remove the baking pan from the oven (careful please:) and remove the molds from the pan. Invert the timbales onto plates. If you have any trouble getting the timbales out, run the blade of a table knife around the inside of the molds.

They should look something like this. For some reason, my scanner is acting up. Guess it's time to buy a new camera:)

Although a drum shaped mold may be instrumental in the presentation of this elegant dish, it is not all together necessary. For heaven sake, don't run out a buy a timbale mold. Not yet anyway:) You can always use custard cups or individual ramekins, oven safe glass bowls, or even muffin tins. I would venture to guess, you can probably use silicone molds also. Heck, timbales are so versatile, you can layer your favorite timbale concoction right in a casserole and flip it to grandeur! I've left a few recipes for you to try below. Many have serving suggestions. An assortment of timbale entrees or desserts make a most festive holiday presentation. Give them a try. They're easy than a souffle, can be usually be served hot or cold and are only limited to your innovative spirit and what leftovers are in the fridge. Come on now, we're all trying to use our leftovers more wisely, aren't we?

Canned Corn Timbales
1 cup corn pulp
2 egg yolks, beaten
1 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon white pepper
Cayenne
1 tablespoon melted butter
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 cup soft bread crumbs
2 whites of eggs
Chop, mash and sift enough corn to make 1 cup of the pulp. Add well beaten egg yolks, salt, white pepper and a few grains of cayenne, melted butter, sugar and fine, soft white bread crumbs. Mix them, then add the stiffly beaten whites. It should be stiff enough to just drop from the spoon. If too stiff, add cream; if too thin, add more crumbs. Turn it into well buttered, small tin timbale moulds till 2/3 full. Place them in a pan of hot water, cover with buttered paper and bake about 20 minutes, or till puffed up all over. Turn out on a shallow dish and garnish with parsley. The Settlement Cookbook

Swedish Timbales

Timbales in the form of a pastry are called Swedish Timbales. They are created with the help of timbale irons which are round, long, or heart-shaped, often with a fluted surface. They are heavy and hold a great deal of heat. They usually have long handles for protection. These timbale molds are used to make party shells for entrees as well as desserts. They are made out of very thin batters and cooked until brown and crisp, much like a crepe. You can find out more about Rosettes and Timbales @ Diane's Desserts.Here's a quick recipe in the mean time. I must note here, I know of no substitution for these types of irons. Enjoy:)

Swedish Timbales
3/4 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 cup milk
1 egg
1 tablespoon olive oil or melted butter
Sift the dry ingredients. Add the milk gradually, then the slightly beaten egg, and the oil; stir well, but do not beat; strain the mixture into a cup. Heat the timbale iron in fat which is hot enough to brown a cube of bread in one minute. The fat should be deep enough to cover the iron. When hot, dip the iron three-fourths into the batter, and then into the hot fat. Cook the timbale until a delicate brown; remove from the iron, and drain on brown paper. Makes 30 to 40 timbales.

FYI: Kate over @ Serendipity is having a most fascinating give-away. She's kicking off Chocolate Week with a Truffled Truffle Give-Away. All you chocolate lovers out there better hop right over and leave a comment. You're in for quite a treat! (Janet that means YOU too!!!)

Resources
1. Timbale Mold Images
2. Neapolitan Macaroni Timbale (Timpano di Maccheroni)
3. Gluten-Free Goat Cheese Timbales with Parmesan Crisps & Beet Vinaigrette
4. Spiced Quinoa Timbales with Avocado-Orange Spinach Salad
5. Porcini Timbales Scented with Rosemary (Delicious Living Magazine)
6. Creamy Salmon & Zucchini Timbales
7. Indian Spiced Millet & Black Bean Timbale
8. Pumpkin timbale with walnut and herb sauce
9. Spicy Tofu Timbales with Rice-Vinegar-Seasoned Broccoli (Bon Appetit Magazine)
10. Mrs. Calvin Coolidge's Spinach Timbales updated (and healthier) version @ Trader Joe's
11. Miniature Mushroom & Gruyere Timbales
12. Timbales à la Irving (Charles Ranhofer, chef at Delmonico’s & author of The Epicurean, named this dish after American author, Washington Irving.)
13. White Chocolate & Lemon Timbales, with Raspberry & Orange Coulis
14. Carmelized Pineapple Timbales with Lemongrass Creme

Monday, December 7, 2009

December Food Days; I'm Back!!!

"God gave us memories so that we might
have roses in December."
James M. Barrie

Hi everyone! It's Great! to "see" you all. Let's get right to the yummeeeeee food days December has to offer! I have some blogs to visit:)

Daily Food Celebrations

7th-National Cotton Candy Day! The threads of Fairy Floss history are immersed in quite a sticky up bringing. You can read all about it @ my other blog Tasteful Inventions if you like. Or, you can try your hand at making your spun sugar as this recipe from 1891 suggests:

Put half a pound of water and one pound of best cane loaf-sugar in a perfectly clean copper sugar-boiler or thick stewpan; cover the Spinning Sugar pan over, bring to the boil, remove any scum as it rises from time to time, and continue boiling until the liquid forms a thick bubbled appearance (commonly called the crack); then take a small portion on a clean knife or spoon (or the finger may be used, but must be well wetted with cold water and used very quickly), and plunge it immediately into cold water, and if it is then quite brittle and leaves the knife or spoon or finger quite clear it is ready for spinning. If it clings or is at all soft or pliable, continue the boiling until as above. When ready take a small portion on a fork or spoon, and rapidly throw it to and fro over a slightly oiled rolling-pin; continue until sufficient threads of sugar are obtained. (from the Larger Cookery Book Of Extra Recipes by Mrs. A. B. Marshall)

Or not!

7th-Henry Drushel Perky was born today. Who in tarnation was Henry Perky? Oh, goodness, he was just the inventor of one of those many cereals you must bypass when navigating the grocery store cereal aisle. Can you guess which one? Here's a hint. And yes, I posted about Perky Shredded Wheat back in August.

7th-The creator of Sweet'NLow, Benjamin Eisenstadt was born today in 1906. If you have time, check out the Sugar Packet Collector's Page or, The Old Recipe website which has an interesting article titled, Refined Sugar versus Fruit Sugar.

Whew! I need some coffee. For you Maxwell House fans out there, give a toast to Joel Owsley Cheek, Co-founder of the Cheek-Neal Company, which would one day brew up to be the Maxwell House Coffee Company. He was born today in 1852. You can also enjoy your coffee while reading a post I did titled Perk It Up! There are tasty coffee recipes too!!!

Have a Brownie with your coffee. December 8th is also National Brownie Day!!!

8th-'La Physiologie du gout', written by Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin; was published on December 8, 1825, two months before his death.

On December 8, 1896, a patent for an improvement in a Lemon Squeezer was issued to African American inventor John T. White. I squeezed a few lemons for Lemon Squeezer Day back in 2007. There's a recipe for Queen Wilhelmina's lemon bath and a most interesting recipe for Lemon Cake Top Pudding. Oh, I'll just include the cake recipe here to save you the trip. If you do by chance get a minute, you should check out the post. The virtues of lemons are quite remarkable!

This recipe for Lemon Cake Top Pudding, will form a cake top with a layer of custard below.

Lemon Cake Top Pudding
2 tbs. flour
3/4 cup sugar
1 tbs. butter
2 egg yolks beaten
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 cup milk
Cream flour, sugar and butter. Add egg yolks, lemon juice, and milk. Fold in 2 egg whites stiffly beaten. Bake in 8 inch pudding dish or individual custard cups (not buttered), set in a pan of warm water. Bake 35 minutes in 350 degree oven. Serves 4-6

9th-Happy National Pastry Day!
9th-Clarence Birdseye was born today. Yes, yes, the same Birdseye found in the frozen food section of you favorite grocery store!!! You can read more about him at the Inventors' Hall of Fame.
9th-Lorraine Collett Petersen, the first Sun-Maid Raisin Girl was born on December 9, 1892. So you thought she was just a figure of someone's imagination like Betty Crocker, now did you. Well, as you might have guessed, there's more to this little girl's story and I posted all about it in 2008.

10th-On this date in 1846, Norbert Rillieux patented his revolutionary improvement in the cultivation and processing of sugar.
10th-National Lager Day
10th-Emily Dickinson, regarded as one of America’s greatest poets, was born today in 1830. When I visited the North Pole looking for cookie recipes, I found this recipe for Emily Dickinson's Gingerbread Cookies.

11th-Cheese maker James Lewis Kraft was born on December 11, 1874.
11th-National Noodle-Ring Day?
11th-Hanukkah begins at sundown on Friday December 11. Hanukkah recipes for 2009

12th It's National Cocoa Day! And...
12th National Ambrosia Day!

Not only is December 12, National Cocoa Day, and National Ambrosia Day it is also Gingerbread House Day! I did a really informative post for Gingerbread House Day last year, if I do say so myself:) It was such Fun! This year, on December 12, I plan on sharing a few recipes from the Lottie Moon Cookbook. Who was Lottie Moon you ask? Well, I guess you will just have to check back to find out:)

13th-Meet me at Dell's. (previous post) On December 13, 1827, Giovanni ("John") and Pietro ("Peter") Delmonico opened their first cafe, Delmonico's.

14-21st.-Gluten-free Baking Week
14th-It's National Bouillabaisse Day!

My oh my, when it comes to National Cupcake Days, there appears to be more than a cup or two of tartness. I certainly don't reach any sour notes celebrating National Lemon Cupcake Day on December 15, do you??? I didn't think so:) any Lemon Holiday is fine by me:) Here's another scoop, the ice cream cone was patented today by Italo Marchioni! Here's the patent if you want to dig in.

16th-Adelma Grenier Simmons, one of the leading herbal figures in America in the 20th century, was born on December 16, 1903. She owned and operated Caprilands Herb Farm in Coventry, Connecticut for over 55 years. Caprilands was as an enchanting place to visit especially during the Christmas holidays. Did you know, the herb Rosemary, is deeply rooted in the Christmas season? In the language of flowers, Rosemary is for Remembrance. (see my previous post:)
16th-National Chocolate-Covered Anything Day! Yum eee:)
16th-Minced-pie season traditionally begins in England around December 16. I know I shared my Fairy Pie die-cut booklet in January however, one can never have enough of traditionally mince meat pies, now can one?

17th-According to the records of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, Scooter Pies were introduced December 17, 1959 (Registration #0834843) by Burry's, then a division of Quaker Oats. Does that make today, Scooter Pie Day? If you have never experienced a Scooter Pie, perhaps you have treated yourself to a similar product such as a Moon Pie or my very best favorite, Mallomars!
17th-I haven't yet gotten to verifying National Maple Syrup Day but what the heck. December 17th sounds fine by me!

18th-National Roast Suckling Pig Day seems to be another obscure food holiday. Still checking...

19th-Jane Cunningham Croly ("Jennie June"), journalist, author, editor, and woman's club leader was born on December 19, 1829. Getting to Know Jennie June was my post for last year. I'm also still checking on National Hard Candy Day and Oatmeal Muffin Day which are both suppose to be celebrated on December 19th.

Two more days swimming in the ocean of obscure days are National Sangria Day and National Fried Shrimp Day. Sangria and Shrimp? Sorry, the jury is still out on those two:)

21st.-Forefathers' Day. According to Mary J. Lincoln; (previous post) Succotash was the traditional dish served on Forefathers' Day in Plymouth.
21st -Marion Harland (pen name) Mary Virginia Terhune was born on December 21, 1830. Now, you know, I just had to do a post about her.

22-National Date Nut Bread Day

23-Stargazy pie anyone? Jane Grigson, The Observer's distinguished food writer for many years, notes that 'it is a specialty of Mousehole ((pronounced Mouzul) where they make it on 23 December every year, Tom Bawcock's Eve, in memory of the fisherman who saved the town from a hungry Christmas one stormy winter.' Therefore, Stargazy pie is a fish pie of Cornish origin. It is made with the fishes' heads sticking out of the crust all round the rim, and presumably takes its name from their appearance of gazing skywards. The Food and Drink of London blog has a recipe. In essence, The pie fish (Usually sardines) are lined with their heads peeking out from under the crust and faced looking up at the stars:)
23th-National Pfeffernuesse Day

24th-National Egg Nog Day

25th-Merry Christmas!
25th-National Pumpkin Pie Day. I celebrated Pumpkin Pie Day in November with a pumpkin pie recipe poem.

26th-Kwanzaa is an African-American cultural holiday which originated in 1966. Created by Dr. Maulana Karenga, Kwanzaa it is celebrated from Dec. 26 - Jan. 1.
26-I posted about the fabulous British food writer Elizabeth David, (aka, Elizabeth Gwynne) back in 2007. Did you know she was born on Boxing Day, in 1913.
26th-I celebrated St. Stephen's Day with the other Saints of Christmas also in 2007. Here's a recipe for a traditional St. Stephen's Day Hot Pot for you to try:)
26th-Happy Birthday; Bubble Gum!
26th Happy National Candy Cane Day! (previous post)

27th-According to the Fruitcake society, National Fruitcake Day falls on December 27th!

28th-This holiday season, thank Josephine Cochran for the patent she was issued on December 28, 1886. What was it for? The dishwasher of course:)
28th-Take a pop on over to The Old Foodie Blog and wish Janet a Happy Birthday!

29th-Pepper Pot Day
29th-National Chocolate Day

When I celebrated National Bicarbonate of Soda Day in 2008, I was amazed to discover the many uses for baking soda.

31st-National Champagne Day. Need I say more?

I have some errands to run this morning. I think I'll pick up some snacks to munch on while I catch up on all of my favorite blogs when I get back.

Happy Cotton Candy Day! "See" ya later:)